Monday, March 31, 2008
My parents snuck over to visit forgetting that our store was closed and so we couldn't fill up their propane bottles. We will do it tomorrow and my brother will bring them back up. Anyway, the look on their faces when I showed them the completed book of Dragon of my Dreams was priceless!!!! I wrote another story for kids awhile ago and it stems from something that happened at Christmas with my daughter when she was just five years old. He asked that I re-write it and then publish it for the world to see. I think that would be fun and also maybe include some black and white drawings. That is my project for Christmas presents for my entire family. I think they will have a really good time with this one, but we shall see. I will update you on that project as well. Until then....I must begin again!!!!
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Afterwards, I have a plan for myself. Something I have been wanting to do for awhile. Besides, with Don being out in the garage he will no idea what I am up to...then I can see if he is paying any attention at all. Here is the plan... While he is otherwise busy i am going to take the lovely painting he bought for me last year for Mother's Day of Venice to remind me of the time we spent there. Well, Sicne then I have not like the color of the frame...so, I will take care of that tomorrow. I am going to paint it brown with gold accents. We shall see how I do, but I want to get it all done and reframed before he find out what I am up to....Sneaky that I am!!!! Of course, that is IF I get the girls' room done in time. We shall see what happens. I am hoping only a couple of hours will do the trick. I amy need to fumigate though and I don't think I have quite enough Febreeze to kill all the odors!!!! I am so afraid!!!! I figure that I will have plenty to do the entire day. We shall see what happens. There will be plenty of pictures to scare you all...Trust me!!!
For now though I will relish in the stillness of my favorite day of the week!!!!
Friday, March 28, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Incredible!!! She caught on and learned that when things were going wrong not to panic but apply the brakes a bit. She was soon racing around the juniper bushes and then stopping after each go around. She will be a champ in no time.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Truly, there is nothing wrong with Relief Society. It serves a fabulous purpose, but I had the unfortunate opportunity to be called to be a counselor in the relief society when I was in my previous ward. I was nervous as this was my first time in any presidency let alone Relief Society. Our president was a woman who to this day makes the hairs on my head stand on end. Now, you also must know about me that I am VERY patient and it really would have not made a difference if I did not like the woman at all...as long as she did her calling and let me do mine. During my time in this calling I was constantly berated by the president and confused by the lack of compassion shown by this woman. Why would Heavenly Father call this woman to lead the sisters if this was the way they would be treated.
Let me give you an instance of how it worked in our ward. I was unlucky enough to contract pneumonia which #1 left me with no voice for six weeks, much to my husband's and children's happiness as I could not tell them what to do...at that point I didn't care anyway. #2 It left me with enough energy to drop off the kids at school, come home, do my deposit for the bank and come home to sleep until it was time to pick up the kids. After that I had literally no energy left whatsoever. I remember laying in bed hearing my lungs crackle as i drew in a slow breath.
Since I was seriously ill and was going to be in the house with absolutely no energy so this particular president decided I needed meals brought in and she wanted to bring in the first meal. She made homemade chicken soup, which I appreciated incredibly and it was delicious I may add. As she stood in my kitchen,my sink was full of dirty dishes and my house was a disaster she commented on how I need to learn to clean better and THAT was why I was sick. This was the pattern that carried on throughout her time as RS President. I counseled with the bishop several times, but was asked to be patient, to try to look for the good in her and help her to grow. Always willing to heed my bishop's advice I agreed and stayed each time. During the time in that calling I lost my love for Relief Society.
Since our ward was eventually dissolved and I was released with the other members I declared that one of the greatest days of my life. Soon after I was called into the primary presidency and worked with a wonderful president who i appreciated showing me how a functioning presidency should be. I have been in primary ever since.
Now, I am simply the ward camp director and camp head cook which leads me back to Relief Society. I can't tell you the anxiety this has caused. I know fully that there is a huge difference in the two presidencies, but still it has given Relief Society a sour note to me. I have to get over this and so i keep coming to the relief society functions but believe me, i cry before going and cry when i get home. Why? i don't know. Don would love to fix this for me, but it is up to me. I will continue to go to these meetings until i feel that love again for the good ol' RS. Until then my dear friends, please be patient with me. It is harder than you truly know!!!
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
#1 I have neglected my spiritual growth. As I sat in Sunday School listening to our fabulous teacher I realized I have neglected to feed my testimony. Sad but true. I am hoping to change that. It will take time, but in the end it will grow.
#2 I miss Primary. As I sat in the quiets of Relief Society I heard our primary belting out the happy birthday tune and I thought how much I missed the kids. It was my comfort zone. I hate being out of my comfort zone.
#3 I am exhausted. As we sat reading scriptures this afternoon with our kids I found myself falling asleep on more than one occasion. Either I am in training to be the first female high priest or I need to find a way to get a bit more sleep. Insomnia is a curse as well as a blessing for my writing
#4 Nothing ever happens smoothly in callings. Expection the imperfections to come through. It is easier to handle things with this attitude!!!
#5 I truly miss vacations!!!!
Saturday, March 15, 2008
I was twenty years old and I was hanging out with people who I really liked and admired except for one thing...they did drugs and drank alcohol. I put off my teenage rebellion years until then, but as I sat one day slowly sipping on my bottle I watched them after smoking their pot. I have seen them do it several times before and even saw my so called boyfriend smoke it and have a bad reaction. It was laced with something that caused him intense pain. me being a control freak I never did smoke pot because I did not like the idea of myself not having control over my body. So, i watched them. Int he group was a brilliant musician, studied since he was a toddler, an artist and singer and then a computer nerd who could have revolutionized the world with his intelligence....and they were smoking pot. I watched over the course of several months as they became more and more addicted to it and one by one the brilliance and shine of their minds in there chosen fields of study began to dim until they didn't care about it any more. i finally called it quits with them.
At first I used the church as an out. My parents had wanted me to get baptized, but as with everything I had to find my own way. So, I began the missionary discussions. I have always been interested in religion. I consider myself a philosopher of sorts. I think a lot about things and try to make sense of the crazy world we live in. So, when the Elder McCourt asked me to pray about it I agreed, but never expected the answer that I would get. Here is what happened.
After my prayer I went to sleep not feeling happy nor sad or any feeling at all. I was simply tired. Upon falling asleep I began to dream. In this dream I was sitting in a black room wearing a long white dress looking off into the distance, pondering a question. A bright light began to shine from behind and I remained looking off into that distance, but feeling the warmth of the light that was surrounding me. A hand reached down and fell onto my shoulder. I remember turning my head and looking down at that hand. It was my Elder Brother. I smiled knowing it was him, but not having to see his face at that time. I heard the words He spoke to me: "You are going the right way." and I woke up from my dream still feeling the pressure of that hand on my shoulder. Was it still there. I will never know because I didn't look, but I felt it. All I knew is that for some strange reason out of all the craziness in the world happening and those needing more comfort than I, He came to me. The good Sheppard came to find a little lost lamb and heard my bleating calls.
So, my friends. That is how I became a member of this church. I knew that if I was THAT special to me given a message that was so clear and so simple and beautiful then I must have found the true church on this earth.
What was it that brought your heart to convert to the gospel? Convert or not we all have to go through that process.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
When asking a customer how his new portable corral worked he said:
"It's great! That thing is slicker than snot on a doorknob!"
Now, if that doesn't at least make you grin...I don't know what will!!!
My second decision is something a little more hefty of a weight. I have thought about it many ways. Here is what has been troubling me: What do I write now? You see, many of you know that I write and it is something that I enjoy. I finished my first novel and it is published with Lulu.com, an online publisher. I am waiting to see, but in a couple weeks it should appear on Amazon.com which will be the most exciting moment of my life...next to my temple marriage and my kids' births...you know, that sort of thing. However, I have been really wanting to write lately, but unsure if I am going to start on the second installment of my novel or if I want to do an entirely different story. The truth is...a new one has fallen into place, but I am going to terribly miss my dear friends in the previous book. So, after a lot of consideration I have decided that I am going to start writing on a different story that nobody has really heard anything about and more than likely will not until it is finished.
You see, in my mind when I am coming up with the story and characters I fit the pieces of the story together like a puzzle in my head before starting up my writing. I do not outline, like most do. I hate the idea because my ideas tend to evolve from my head and not from a piece of paper. I know the basics of the story, but it changes throughout the writing process which is long and drawn out. Needless to say, I am fairly excited because it is a nice little story that is in my head, but I know it will turn into something completely different than what I expect. To be honest, the male character is the easiest of them all. The female character is a bit more complex. We shall see what happens, but as I am typing the ideas flow into my head....it would make a great "Girl's Night Out" movie to go see. Yes, I see the movie and I see the man standing before me. My heart is aching to get started. Why disappoint my heart?!?!?
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Most of the idea of being "lucky" depends a lot on our attitude. If you have a positive attitude then you will always feel lucky, but if you are down and depressed...chance are that you will not feel so lucky.
For the most part, yes I feel truly lucky. I am married to man destined to be my husband. He accepts my quirks and I accept his blindly and I feel lucky that I get to spend all day with my best friend. Of course that does have its downside too, but we won't get into that one quite yet. I have three fabulous kids who drive me bonkers till the end of time, but I figure if Heavenly Father had a hard time getting his children to obey...Garden of Eden...Adam & Eve eating the forbidden fruit...then I must not be doing too bad. I have a roof over my head...that sometimes feels like the money pit, but it is mine. I have a car that runs and has a fabulous anti-theft device...nobody wants to steal a "plum" colored car with the license "Goofmobile" on it. I have food on my table and a warm bed to sleep in. most of all...I have come to the earth in this dispensation where although there is a lot of negativity and evil around the world...there is much good. I have the gospel. I can share it with a friend. I can share it with the world, but most of all I can teach my children.
So, basically in answer to the question...yes, I feel very lucky.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
-Vacationing with my family (At this point it doesn't matter when)
-My ipod- silly but true, I love to just drop into some of my favorite tunes and let them take me away when I am having a million thigns to do.
- Being released from a calling...simply because I know I have done my best.
-A new calling...new things to learn and new faces to meet.
-the sounds of snow falling...magical
-big rain storms
-going for a walk in the rain
-Tuscan mornings---I miss our breakfasts at the Borgo de Fontebussi. there is nothing like it...ever.
-a good book
-a clean computer screen ready to let my imagination loose on it.
-The characters from my stories talking in my head.
-my kids...good bad or indifferent...I love them.
-jeeps...it's just a Jeep thing.
-my picture of Mulan...it reminds me never to give in to defeat.
-booking people's travel. So much fun!!!
That's my short list. It changes from day to day!!!!
What do you all do to releive stress? I feel my muscles tensing up in my shoulders and the swimming pool is much too cold!!!
Monday, March 10, 2008
Yes, I am an incredible chicken for not taking a picture of my new hairstyle...which by the way I really love. I even dyed it a different color. I have a great hairdresser that helps me out. I have had blonde hair since the day i was born. platinum blonde...natural...no kidding. Aside from highlights i have never dyed my hair permanently...well except that bubble gum pink color, but we won't go there!!! Anyway, it has been blonde most of my life and I actually love it. I just needed a bit of a change so, technically I am a blonde through and through...please type slowly...however now I have a bit of red and brown in my hair as well. So, I am still getting used to the cut so it takes me some time to learn to style it. it is fairly short though. Not shaved like 8th grade graduation...another long story....but it is shorter than i normally have had it. That being said...Don absolutely loves the new color and haircut. He loved it the instant that he saw it so I was truly happy. Tomorrow i will show it off to the men at the dump when we unload our truck full of weeds!!!! Yay!!!
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Friday, March 7, 2008
"If you judge people, you will not be able to love them."
How simple is that? I try to remember that when people seem to go off the deep end. Why should I judge them when I go off the deep end sometimes? I like to remember these, because I find often when people come in feeling miserable and may take it out on me...which happens quite often in the retail world it keeps my sanity in place. I realize, they are having a bad day and leave it at that. Much of the time they come back and apologize for being so grumpy the week before or they simply explain what has been going on. More often than not I am happy that I did not jump all over these people for their behavior towards me. Other times...I just grab for the good ol' chocolate!!!!
Thursday, March 6, 2008
As for the artificial intelligence... Well I had my hair done today. I cut ALOT off. It is shorter than I have had it in many years. The only time it was shorter was when I shaved it along the sides for my 8th grade graduation. I also added some color. Now, you have to understand, I have been a blonde my entire life...naturally. It is very difficult to look in the mirror and see a reddish brown haired woman looking back at me. I love it. I don't normally love anything this quickly, but she blended a deep brown with a red copper and made a great shade....and I still have my blonde highlights so it is not unbelievably dark on me either. I love this woman!!! She is a wonderfully creative woman. So, in answer to your question, no I am not posting my picture on the blog. I hate getting pictures taken so it is not going to happen, but rest assured most of you will see me in church on Sunday...if not at the school dropping off the kids. Oh and by the way here is the joke: "What do you call a blonde who dyes her hair brownish-red? Artificially Intelligent!!!!"
I was born in San Diego. often my parents would take us to places like the Scripp's Ocean Center. Sharks fascinated my brother and I. Also, when I was about 3 years old I remember my father fishing...in Mission Bay I believe...and my brother and I would dig the biggest hole we could. It usually measured about 3 feet in diameter. occasionally on his pole he would find baby sharks, since at the time the mother sharks would use the bay as their nursery. Well, my father would unhook the baby and then instead of letting it go back into the water he would give it to my brother and I to "play with" for the day. Now, I will also add he caught sting rays as well, but cut the stinger off before he could unhook the dear chaps from his line...so we played with those as well. We did let them all go just as healthy as they were when they came out of the water afterwards. I have grown up with a healthy respect for sharks...much of it thanks to the entire Jaws series. I can no longer get into a body of water without thinking of the dear creatures...including my pool. So, needless to say I was literally hooked on them. I also love dolphins. They are a tamer bunch but I have already had the luck to swim with them. I am happy.
Someday however, I will take the long trek down to South Africa or Australia where I can hire a crew to take me out, lower a cage and start chumming the water looking for the giant beasts. My dear hubby has opted out on that trip. He doesn't want in the water at all with them...I can't understand why!!!! hee hee!!!
If I hate it...no pictures will surface, but we shall see.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
It's funny that I naively believed that I was only in charge of the food and not of logistics of going to church and everything. What was I thinking?!?!?!
Monday, March 3, 2008
As you can see it is a lovely deck, but what you can't see is the rotting wood from years of neglect. So, we had to tear it down and start from scratch.Today we were lucky enough to finish off the project we have been waiting for the sun to come out again. So, I am happy to show you the newest project.
I still have much more to go. i am sure I will be laying stones next weekend on the opposite side of our yard. Ugh!! I don't want to think about that!!! My back hurts already!!! Someone pass the Tylenol!!!
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Anyway, to make a long story short it is a picture of Mulan during her army training where she felt like failure and couldn't do anything right. She was trying to climb to the top of the pole to retrieve an arrow but had fallen for the umpteenth time. She felt like a failure, but that is just before she makes up her mind to not accept defeat. That has been my attitude on more than one occasion and it is a picture that means so much to me for that reason and not for the signature form the actress that supplied Mulan's voice in the movie. A picture is worth a thousand words....to me it is priceless.
We spent last night having dinner with the kids at the old Banta Inn. Normally hopping on a Saturday night it was rather quiet and that was wonderful as I had about as much energy as a slug. We dropped the kids off and went over tot he grocery store to stock up our refrigerator and make it appear as if we have food in the house. Don laughed and said: "How long so you think this food will last?" "Tuesday." I answered back in as serious a tone as I could muster.
I would like to share a funny story about our food. I planned on sauteeing some mushrooms for dinner as there are a few of us that LOVE mushrooms in this house (and if you ever go to the Banta Inn the fried zucchini and fried mushrooms are delicious). well, the night I was going to make dinner i looked down into the mushroom carton and there were mushrooms missing. The first person I thought of was my dear little Molly. I asked her if she ate them and a smile crept across her face. i asked her if she ate them just as they were or how she cooked them. She instantly replied with a little gleam in her eye:
"Well Mom, I took the small pan and warmed up some of your Tillamook sweet butter and then i chopped up three mushrooms and threw them in. i also added some chives and just a tiny bit of garlic for flavor. then I just sauteed them until done."
How could I reply back to that....she's 10!!! Some man is going to be happy with her cooking skills. So far she can make pancakes, omelets, spaghetti, and now sautees mushrooms in her spare time. Pretty soon she will be cooking dinner for us every night!